Friday, November 20, 2009

Vigil, Memorial Service & Community Mobilization in Memory of Jorge Steven López Mercado

Sunday 22 November
5pm Vigil at Pier 45 (Christopher Street Pier)
6:30pm Memorial Service at St. Luke in the Fields (Hudson St and Grove St)

Integrity will be joining several other organizations in participation in this event. We hope you will try to join us in solidarity with the López Mercado family and others across the country.

Jorge Steven López Mercado, a gay/trans teenager was found beaten, decapitated, dismembered, and burned about a week ago in Puerto Rico because of his sexuality.  The killer is claiming "gay panic" after he discovered that Mercado, who was in drag, was a male.  The killer met Mercado while looking for women in an area known for prostitution.  Activists are demanding that the alleged perpetrator be charged under the new U.S. federal hate crimes law which includes sexual orientation and gender identity.

Hundreds of people took part in a march through San Juan last night to demand an end to homophobia. The López Mercado family fully accepted the openly gay teenager--Mercado's ex-boyfriend continues to speak publicly on the family's behalf.

New York Congressmembers José Serrano and Nydia Velázquez have both condemned the gruesome murder. And New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's office has co-sponsored this vigil.

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